The largest and most ancient olive tree in Europe 


Along the road that leads from the square of Canneto Sabino to the nearby village of Talocci, after passing the cemetery, you will find on your right: u livone (so it is affectionately called by the Cannetari) a huge olive tree, beautiful in a nutshell: a patriarch of nature. With its squat and gnarled trunk measuring in the narrow part 5,50mt and 7,20 in the part on the ground of circumference and a height of about 15,0mt, it stands so imperious over all the vegetation that surrounds it to leave the visitor for a few seconds without words. The Bertini brothers, owners since 1850 of the plot of land where this monumental tree is located, date the same age as 2000/2100 years ago and this thanks to the test (carbon 14) made by experts in the field. In reality there are two theses related to the age of this tree. The first thesis is very presumably more logical and sets in about 2000 years the age based on the fact that at the time of Numa Pompilio, emperor of Rome but Sabinus of birth, in order to increase the production of olive oil that was widely used for the night lighting of Rome itself, we proceeded to a very capillary and large-scale cultivation of olive trees. At the time the whole of the Sabina was an area with a very high agricultural development due to important factors such as the presence of Roman villae and the low cost of labor due to the use of slaves and it is therefore likely that this centuries-old olive tree existed from those times and that it has developed in such large dimensions for reasons of which even today the origins are not known. The second thesis that fixes the age between 1000 and 1300 years is linked to the name of Tommaso da Mauremme who arrived in Farfa from Jerusalem around 700 AD, he worked so that the olive groves in the area, destroyed by the Longobards together with Abazia di Farfa , they underwent a rebirth; in fact, he was responsible for the reconstruction of Farfa and all the agricultural limintrofo, the deforestation in favor of the olive groves and the process of new grafts on existing plants. If we add then that the Bertini brothers bought the land from the Abbey of Farfa that until then had been the owner, it is very credible that this olive tree, owes its enormous growth to some miraculous grafting and therefore has had a second life starting from 700dc.

The olive production of this tree is consolidated on an average of 8 quintals pro season but, there have been years, when it has also reached 13ql; in 2008 the total was 10.2 ql. of olives. At the beginning of the spring of 1956 he was struck by a late unusual frost. To see its branches dry and completely devoid of foliage, it was feared that it could not survive, but he, in spite of all the laws of nature, after some time, began to revert as if nothing had happened, what which unfortunately does not make a good 50% of the olive groves in the area that had to be eradicated. Although a saying says that "the olive tree has no old age" in order to stabilize and distribute the weight, it was necessary to intervene with metal cables. Currently the olive tree in Canneto has been placed under the protection of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.


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